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BAA Reports March 2010 Traffic

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BAA's UK airports as a whole handled a total of 8.2 million passengers in March 2010, a decrease of 1.5% on the same month last year. Heathrow airport saw 5.2 million passengers travel through last month, an increase of 0.4% compared to March 2009.

The two periods of industrial action affecting British Airways services caused an estimated net loss of 200,000 passengers across the UK airports, of which 180,000 were at Heathrow.

Without strikes it is estimated that Heathrow would have recorded a growth of 3.8% on last year, while the group as a whole would have seen an increase of 1%.

Glasgow (down 9.6%), Edinburgh (down 3.3%) and Aberdeen (down 4.4%) were all affected by the British Airways industrial action, with each losing an estimated 1 to 2% of traffic for this reason.

Of airports unaffected by the strikes, Stansted's traffic declined by 4.2% compared to last March. Southampton grew 5.3%, whilst Naples grew 5.7%.

Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive officer, said, "There is no doubt that the market remains difficult, compounded by industrial action last month. Despite the industrial action, Heathrow continued to demonstrate the resilience which comes from its role as the UK's only hub airport."

European scheduled services across the group recorded a 0.1% increase and North Atlantic traffic was up by 1.7%. Other long haul traffic rose by 0.5% overall with services from Heathrow to China up 10.9%, the Middle East up 7.2% and South America up 6.8% doing particularly well. Domestic traffic dropped 6.8%, largely as a result of the British Airways industrial action.

Across the group air transport movements fell by 6.6% in March, with Heathrow 6.5% lower. It is estimated that Heathrow lost 1,400 movements as a result of strike action, about 3.5% of its expected monthly total.

Cargo continued its recent strong recovery with a 27.7% increase in tonnage at Group level and 29.6% increase at Heathrow.

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